Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html en-gb 30 Thu 18 Dec 2014 18:41:45 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html mariein http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=99#comment128 #125 Leila,In response to the psychology part of your post:So long as an individual, or group of people, continues to place the blame on another, or another group, they cast themselves in the victim role. They don’t take responsibility for themselves or their own lives – in the present or future. They relinquish their own power. And they deny seeing where (apart from the original action(s) taken against them, their ancestor, their country, their tribe, etc.,) they themselves have continued to identify themselves as the powerless victim in their own lives, begrudging others for only mirroring what they are presenting. Ever see an entire life revolving around an injustice that preceded that life?E.g., perhaps Muslims should start showing the world something different.E.g., okay, now, in 2011, Egypt revolted against their leader. What happens next is also up to them, and I hope for one hope the young people may sure of it.Forgiveness includes giving up the expectations once held, and the belief that things should have been different. Only then can a person move forward into wholeness (i.e., his/her true self...i.e., knowing what is best for him/her, and becoming it).Learn from the past while remembering that it is over.------------------I'm reminded of: “Not a having and a resting, but a growing and a becoming is the character of perfection as culture perceives it.”Dang it. Now I have to go find Culture and Anarchy by Matthew Arnold (who would love that). Sat 19 Feb 2011 20:29:25 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=98#comment127 125. At 4:18pm on 19 Feb 2011, Leila Youssef wrote: “1. It seems, from your comments, that I have not been clear in conveying the message that I do agree that the system used in western societies is at its best called democracy but it is definitely not “true” democracy. I would say it is the best that we have evolved to create in terms of governing systems. But it definitely has room for lots of improvements.”Switzerland and many towns in New England practice direct democracy, that is, every resident can go to the town meeting, speak and vote on issues and local laws. That is as close to true democracy as one can get, however we can not force people to attend or vote, nor can we refuse to let the town idiot vote and even run for local office. If by true democracy you mean perfect democracy, that is impossible.In most US states and Switzerland, the people can propose laws, oppose laws and have a referendum on that. They can recall [dismiss] office holders. The problem is, that as communities increase in size direct democracy becomes cumbersome then undemocratic. When a large percentage don’t or can not attend and vote, then it becomes undemocratic government by the minority.The US Constitution has been in effect and the present government, with all its many flaws, has been governing without interruption since 1789. We have steadily become more democratic, in so far as a representative democracy in a true federal system can be.“I definitely would not say that the elections that brought Bush to power was truly democratic,etc.”I do not like George W. Bush, he is most likely the worst president in the history of the US. And there were problems with the mechanics of the election. But is there any way to do it better in a nation of over 300,000,000 million people, stretching from Guam in the Western Pacific to the Virgin Islands in the Caribbean and from Mexico to the arctic. The US covers an area of 9,826,675 km2, and it is the 50 states not the national government that control the national elections. This local control is where the problems mostly arose, and one aspect of protecting democracy in the US is to give more power to the people [in local areas] than to the national government.#2 and #3 are good questions but they are not about domestic democracy. 2 should not happen because we should not interfere in other countries and we may have helped delay democracy, but I don’t think you can say that the US created Egypt’s undemocratic regime as we did not overthrow the Khedive/King, nor install Nasser. The Egyptian military has been in control for longer than 30 years.Yes, the US government and all other governments from China, to Russia to Saudi Arabia, interfere or use influence. It is not good, but it has been reality for centuries or even millenia.As to #3, a majority of Americans are either suspicious of it or oppose it, it would be undemocratic to force it upon them.While everyone endorses freedom of religion in the US, not all religions are looked upon favorably. In my grandmother’s youth Catholics were looked on with suspicion, I can remember when JFK was running for the presidency and some people objected to his Roman Catholic religion. The reason was [and for some may still be] that Catholics are supposed to obey the Pope first and the Constitution and laws of the US second. This is one reason why Mormons and Muslims still are not completely trusted either, it is not just Muslims who are suspect.Shariah, whether Saudi or as practiced in less strict states, is either mostly or totally incompatible with the US Constitution and the constitutions of the states. Here in Massachusetts, our constitution is several years older than the federal one. We abolished slavery in 1783, and the same clause in our constitution was recently used to make discrimination against homosexuals in marriage rights illegal [in all other respects they were already legal, but they face unofficial discrimination]. Neither the Bible nor the Quran can be enforced as elements of those holy books are prohibited by our laws. Blasphemy can make people mad, but can not be prosecuted because freedom of speech is protected by both federal and state constitutions and laws. Muslims have freedom of religion, but they do not have the right to break our laws for religious reasons, any more than other groups. No religion may be established [i.e. made superior] to any other. This is real democracy, even though some people, even some Americans, object to it. Democracy means that everyone must be treated equally. Separation of Church and state means that religion is protected from state interference, the state is protected from religious interference, and members of all religions are protected from each other.You have raised numerous valid points once again. I wish to express to you and any other Egyptians reading this blog that I wish the Egyptian people peace, good fortune, good governance and democracy. Of course, Egypt for the Egyptians. Sat 19 Feb 2011 19:24:03 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=97#comment126 Sorry guys my post at 120 was in reply to 158. At 5:09pm on 18 Feb 2011, Scott0962 on the other thread, careless or what !... Sat 19 Feb 2011 18:44:56 GMT+1 Oldloadr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=96#comment125 125. At 4:18pm on 19 Feb 2011, Leila Youssef wrote:40. At 10:37pm on 10 Feb 2011, quietoaktree wrote:#26 Leila Youssef

--- an interesting analysis !

-- any ideas on sexual frustration -- suicide bombers--- paradise ?My reply: Please clarify your comment. I smell strong cynism but I am not getting your point__________________________________________________________Leila, you should have smelled cynicism as soon as you logged on to this blog. There are some here who just have to impress with their sharp tongues (or keyboards). However, since this is an open blog I usually engage the cynics and treat them like everybody else because some honest seeker may be edified.Now, maybe you could provide your opinion on the suicide bombers motivations, especially the young females. I think that would be worthy of discussion from that point, although I’m sure the sexual part of Oaktree’s question comes from the fabled 72 virgins we have heard about since 9/11. Sat 19 Feb 2011 18:01:44 GMT+1 Leila Youssef http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=96#comment124 Mark, I posted a comment on the 10th of Feb. on your article "A beginning not an end emerging in Egypt". I have been trying for 4 days now to access that article again to place my NEW comments on the comments people made on my article. I have not succeeded to do so. I send you here the whole comments and do with them whatever needs to be done, but I would like to reply to those who made their comments because it feels important to clarify certain pointshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0IaCK-7z5o (Islam in the west) I would like every one who wants to know about how Islam was kept out of history to look at this incredible documentary made by BBC.http://ammanmessage.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=51&Itemid=64 (The Amman Document)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uD86cieOaU&feature=related God's warriors documentary that shows how fanaticism expresses itself in all three religions. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOSG-mTttzE&feature=related (Suez Canal 1956 war) This documentary made by BBC shows how the democracies treat those who are not on their side in a non democratic manner. If you cannot post all what comes below (because of reasons I did not know about the way this blog functions), I ask you to please publish these four links with this article please.76. At 03:43am on 11 Feb 2011, Chryses wrote:Leila Youssef, (#26. At 9:22pm on 10 Feb 2011)

"... the rising of radical Islam has taken place largely because Muslims see that the democracy the West preaches is neither a real nor practiced democracy ..."
Why should anyone accept that you speak for the global Muslim community?
What is it about the political processes in Great Britain, France, Australia, Germany, Canada, Belgium, and the United States that are "neither a real nor practiced democracy?" That group seems to be a representative sample of "the West," so please expand on your interesting claim.1. It seems, from your comments, that I have not been clear in conveying the message that I do agree that the system used in western societies is at its best called democracy but it is definitely not “true” democracy. I would say it is the best that we have evolved to create in terms of governing systems. But it definitely has room for lots of improvements. We have not managed as a human race to bring about a system that creates “true freedom of election” i.e. not based on fear, use of power over others”, persuasion by different unclear devious means to gain votes, or forging elections results. I do not call “true democracy” the way Bush, Blair and Aznar turned deaf when millions on people in their countries and other countries marched to ask these “three men” not to go to war in Iraq. If we add to this the fact that they didn’t find any massive destruction weapons, which was the excuse of the war, I leave it to you to ask yourself in sincerity if this act was a democratic act.I definitely would not say that the elections that brought Bush to power was truly democratic,etc.2. Is supporting and sustaining systems like the one we had in Egypt democratic? Is the support of the dictatorships in South America democratic?3. Is the stand of the US in the Kioto accord democratic? 4. I would like to refer to a comment from a colleague on that same site who comments on democracy in his country, England: 38. At 9:57pm on 10 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:35 Amr...just remember that if we tried to change our government in England by peaceful protest of this sort we would be silenced and dispersed by our police....and we don`t live in a real democracy either!There are more examples that sustain what I am saying. Open the eyes of your heart and you will see them."... They have come to see the talk of democracy as a political tactic of the West to continue to oppress them ..."
What evidence can you provide to substantiate this claim?My reply: The minute you side up with the oppressor who oppresses them you are contributing actively to their oppression. United States of America sided very strongly with Mubarak during 30 years and they would have continued to support him if he would have crushed the revolution. They are keeping a blind eye on the fanaticism taught in Saudi Arabian schools. Why? Because now it is suitable to have good relationship with Saudi Arabia. Everything is economic or war industry interests. When it was suitable even Sadam Hussein was supported by the US and the West. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOSG-mTttzE&feature=related (Suez Canal 1956 war) This documentary made by BBC shows how the democracies treat those who are not on their side in a non democratic manner. "... The West has failed to show the "people" in Tunisia, in Egypt, in Jordan, Yemen, etc. what democracy is ..."
I am intrigued, what definition of democracy do you use? in my human understanding true democracy does not support autocracies and monarchies and dictatorships that breed oppression and fanaticism hence perpetuate hatred. 

"... Supporting autocracies and dictatorships like Mubarak's and Saudi Arabia's is doing nothing but contributing greatly to the rapid expansion of the extreme fundamentalist model of Islam ..."
Saudi Arabia is a monarchy.

"... Muslims have realized that the democratic model being sold to them is not valid ..."
Repeating a claim does not validate the claim. One of the habits of the mind is to forget, specially if was is heard, seen, read, felt or experienced is not to its liking, hence repetition is useful and very valid.

"... It has not made people in the West happy ..."
Most people I know are quite happy with the democratic process, if not with the results of the last election.Sorry for not being clear here. When I talk about happiness I mean the deep human values crisis the world is facing right now. All the systems including the so called democracy have failed to create a world where we live in peace and don’t have the deep crisis we are facing right now as a human race on all levels. I mean THE BIG CRISIS that has brought down the economic system to recession in these last few years. Mother earth is reaching its critical point of devastation. Call the system whatever you feel like it, the results are what counts. We are not to be proud of ourselves as a human race at this stage. WE NEED TO REVISE HOW WE USED OUR DEEP CORE VALUES AND TO WHAT ENDS. 

"... nor has it fulfilled people's hearts ..."
What is that supposed to mean? The materialistic ideal pursued by us did not fulfill the main hunger for true happiness that every human heart on this earth yearns for. “Happiness” cannot be bought nor given by money, power, religion or political systems. It is a “state” that emerges from within the hearts when human beings are deeply seated in their core values as human beings. We lost contact with these core values in this last half of the century. The liberal Capitalism definition of happiness as consumption and acquisition of material goods confused people and made them loose their connection with their inner selves. As a consequence we are facing the global human crisis we are experiencing right now in all sectors of our so called democratic societies. 

"... The East sees the human crisis of Western society for the emptiness that it is ..."
In some circles it is considered better form to first establish that there is a "human crisis of Western society," and that it leads to "emptiness" before claiming that "the East" (whatever that might mean) sees that it is so.My reply: OK you formulated it better than I did, thank you☺ The human crisis of Western societies is the loss of core human values that led to emptiness.

"... As a psychotherapist, in Spain, I worked with a young Spanish woman who spent sometime in Saudi Arabia because of her father's job. She was traumatized by this experience. She told me that until she was 16 her only dream was to die bombing herself in an act of martyrdom like others have done killing Israelis. This is what she was taught in school. She was taught that this was the highest honor for any Muslim and that it was a guarantee to heaven. It took me a long time to help her get over this traumatic brain washing ..."
This paragraph is quite revealing. At the beginning of your post you wrote that the rise of radical Islam is the fault of the West. In the paragraph above, you write that it is taught to children by their teachers in school. A trifle contradictory, if you'll excuse the criticism. I do not see any contradiction. Both statements are right. US government is keeping its mouth shut about this dangerous fact. WHY? If American government pretends to be totally dedicated to eradicating Islamic terrorism from the world, why is it not at least criticizing the lion’s den? They create terrorists and suicide bombers in the schools in Saudi Arabia. Why is US democracy not addressing this core issue of how and where suicide bombers are created and shaped? This is precisely one of the reasons the muslims are not buying into the western talk about their ideal democratic system. It doesn’t make sense that democracies support such behaviours.

"... Denial of identity breeds destruction. This is a very well known psychological principle. There is only one consequence to such denial: perpetual destruction of the "other" in order to preserve your own identity ..."
While interesting, and possibly even true, as no one's identity is being denied, it is also utterly irrelevant.My reply: All the contrary, et me explain. The world is full of examples of identity denials. Israel and Palestine is the most flagrant example of this statement. Denial is the most powerful psychological mechanism we all use as human beings when we do not agree with those around us including our loved one. Parents are constantly denying their kids right to be who they are for what they. They want their children to fulfill their dreams of who they want them to be. Humans quarrel all the time, couples separate and nations go to war with each other because of denial. It is this mechanism that is at the CORE of human conflicts and wars between nations. Extremely RELEVEANT. I would be glad to coach you to realize how much you deny the identity of those around you. It is my offer to you if you are interested in realizing how true my statement is REVELANT. First, we will have to determine what I mean and what you mean by identity. It is the theme of my life search. I know quite a bit about it and I see it operating in people around me all the time.Liink of movie of the Suez canal war in 1956. This is a great example of denial. England (democratic and great colonial country) denies Egypt (its colony) its right to become independent and denies Nasser his right to rule his newly independent country. I would not say that the refusal of US and England to help Nasser rebuild his country a democratic attitude. Or an attitude that reflects an example of true democracy. 

"America feeds the rich in every country and ignores the poor ...
Nonsense. U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has been in business for almost 50 years. Read and learn: http://www.usaid.gov/ My reply:I don’t have to read about usaid. I talked to people who receive this type of aid and I know that they do not get the aid they “need” they receive the type of aid that sounds good on webpages like this one you mention. “Giving” in general is about the “needs” of who you give to. Not about the giver’s need to give something specific that suits his interest and serves as a domination weapon. Obama said very openly what everyone knows most of his aid to Egypt is for the Army and we all know why..

"... Islam is a deep religion that provides a complete social structure to rule and govern ..."
Yes, it does.

"... In the golden age of Islam during the Caliphates, Muslims experienced true democracy ..."
I am unsure what you are thinking about, but the caliphates of the Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, and Ottomans were ruled by dynasties. They had nothing whatsoever to do with democracy.

"... It is time for the West to start honoring ISLAM and open up to rediscover IT without judgment and most importantly without identifying IT with fundamentalism and fanaticism."
No, it is not. The West, as you sweepingly refer to Europe and North and South America, is overwhelmingly secular, only on the surface, My reply: The blood shed between Ireland(Catholics) and England(Protestants) is an example that contradicts your statement. and it is contrary to the West's principles to honor any specific religion. I do not agree at all. The very best Islam can possibly expect from the West is to be treated as an equal to or on a par with other religions. That would be great indeed! The West already treats Islam considerably better than Islamic countries treat other religions. 

One safe way to ensure that the West stops identifying Islam with fanaticism is to stop the killing of innocents by Islamic fanatics.My reply: War in Iraq killed thousands of innocent civilians. The atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagazaki killed…………do you know the number of victims?.. and they are still suffering from the radiations. I do not have to remind you of the millions of “black human beings” that were deported in infrahuman conditions from their homeland to be sold in America to become slaves. Were they considered innocent human beings? Or because of the colour of their skin they deserved to be slaves? Was America a democracy then? I guess so………..You are not in a good position to defend innocent people dying by any sort of fanaticism. The black racism is a very high grade of fanaticism in my humble understanding.I am not defending them. I am simply trying to put on the table some elements that might help the western people understand a little bit better what goes in the mind of the muslims and how they see the West. There seems to be lots of confusion about this. The psychodynamics of a suicide bomber have to do with the denial of their identity and their rights.Trained as a psychotherapist I always ask myself the question: Why do people do what they do? What makes them behave the way they behave? That is my attitude. I try to understand the deep psychodynamic root causes of a certain behaviour.If you want to stop this sort of fanaticism in the world a different attitude than the one you are mentioning needs to be put in action. Making this sort of condition only on Palestinians and not on the Israelis is NOT going to STOP DESTRUCTION. The use of power is NOT GOING TO STOP DESTRUCTION. We are interested in stopping destruction not displaying powers. We have seen that power games only breed hatred and more destruction, it is time to learn to deal with such complex matters in other ways don't you think so?64. At 01:40am on 11 Feb 2011, chronophobe wrote:re: 26 Leila Youssef

America feeds the rich in every country and ignores the poor. Fundamentalism feeds the hungry, illiterate and poor people wherever they are. The rich suppress these masses of hungry humans given bread by fundamentalists. The more suppression, the more hatred; the more hatred, the stronger the resentment, until an explosion like what we are seeing today in Egypt takes place. Finally the masses take to the streets to say enough is enough. In Egypt we see Christians, Muslims, atheists, and fundamentalists joining together in a common cause. The universal cry of these people is for their basic human rights!

Leila -- very much enjoyed reading your thoughtful and passionate post. Thank you very much for taking the time to write it. 

Many posters here, and citizens of the 'West' generally, simply do not understand the hostility they see directed at them from the Arab world. Many assume that Islam itself is the source of the problem. Something which I, like you, believe to be false. 

I am hoping with you that a new political order rooted in the best of the traditions and culture of Egypt will emerge from this crisis, and that this new way will be better nourishment for hungry souls. 

And if you have the time and patience for it, please do continue posting here!My Reply: Thank you for your support. I will try to post some more. I know that Islam took the blame for everything. I INVITE ALL OF YOU WHO DON’T KNOW ISLAM TO READ THE SUFI POETS: RUMI AND KABIR. IN THESE POEMS YOU WILL COME TO SAVOUR THE CORE ESSENCE OF ISLAM.40. At 10:37pm on 10 Feb 2011, quietoaktree wrote:#26 Leila Youssef

--- an interesting analysis !

-- any ideas on sexual frustration -- suicide bombers--- paradise ?My reply: Please clarify your comment. I smell strong cynism but I am not getting your point Sat 19 Feb 2011 16:18:20 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=95#comment123 Jmm: Nobody loves a superpower.-----------Perhaps....but why shouldn't a country do the very best they can do? Sat 19 Feb 2011 16:09:34 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=94#comment122 The title of this blog "When revolution breeds internal struggle"is very deep and ironic. In this case the revolution in Egypt appears to be breeding external struggle, both in the international community and within the US.Of course, that is not new. In our struggle for independence, the US touched off a world war in which those countries jealous of Britain's growing might aided us directly but not militarily [Holland], secretly and indirectly [Spain] or directly and militarily [France]. There are more examples, but apparently no examples of any country aiding Britain. Nobody loves a superpower. Sat 19 Feb 2011 14:18:45 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=93#comment121 Uk: Old France fell, because of its support for America------------Yes, but due to France, so didn't Old England?There ya have it...Its the ole domino effect...And today, we are all friends!!! :) Sat 19 Feb 2011 00:33:15 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=93#comment120 118. At 05:44am on 18 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner answered my attempted jocular post in a very straight way, and cleared up some of the import of the other site’s article.Yes, the switch to throwing its weight [and new toys] around rather than peace keeping is what I suspected of your government.I thought the profit motive was in privatising the prisons, but I guess patronage and jobs for local supporters works too. The privatisation can come later after control of the government is secured and the giveaways to big business become more possible.119. At 05:56am on 18 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:“Keeping in mind that the negotiations leading to Confederation really only got into full swing in 1864, against the back-drop of the then rather evident failings of the US Constitution, Canada was intended to have a very strong central government, and weak provinces. Haldane, a guy who never set foot in Canada in his life, made it his mission to turn that wise decision of John A. MacDonald upside-down. Again, that's a long and complicated story.”Before attending Expo ’67 I studied Canadian history and read the BNA, I bought a copy of the pamphlet on the charter and “patriation” of same. Complicated, indeed; and my understanding is that in both countries what has resulted over time is exactly the opposite of what was intended, overly strong provincial and overly weak central government in Canada and overly strong and weakening state governments in the US. That was not an earthquake, it was the effect of all our respective founders spinning in their graves!Thanks/Merci Fri 18 Feb 2011 21:44:56 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=92#comment119 Americans do remember the part France played in our war for indpendence and we will always be grateful to the brave Frenchmen who fought as our allies back then but at the same time we are not so naive as to believe that the French king supported our rebellion against Britain because he was a lover of liberty. It suited France's interests to see British power and influence reduced, supporting American independence was merely a convenient means to that end.-------------------------With the crippling cost in financing the war to support the American struggle for Independence,ordinary French folk were taxed to the limit.Officers returning home,seeing that monarchy could be over thrown,along with the suffering of the French people,wanted what the Americans hadachieved with their help.Old France fell, because of its support for America. Fri 18 Feb 2011 18:15:47 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=91#comment118 111. At 00:28am on 17 Feb 2011, JMM wrote:Question 3. Would harper's party follow the pattern of the GWB regime and push for right-wing Christian laws such as prohibiting same-sex marriage, prohibiting death with dignity [assisted suicide] and prohibiting medical marajuana?[[It would certainly pander well to his base, but I think Canada has moved well past most of this nonsense.]]Question 4. Would the Harper government trample on Canada's equivalent of Amendment 10 which assigns the items in #3 solely to the individual states. And I don't think Canada has separation of Church and state, but if so, is or would the separation be in danger from this government?[[This is a more complex question Constitutionally and historically, but, effectively, since the Charter of Rights, and probably before the Charter, Canada effectively has separation of Church and state, although with some curious historical anachronisms.We do have division of powers, under sections 91 and 92 of the BNA (Now styled the Constitution Act). The division is somewhat different from the US, and the judicial history of Canada's division of powers cases is almost entirely the reverse of the US, in large measure because of a bonehead on the judicial committee of the British Privy Council a century ago named Viscount Haldane.Keeping in mind that the negotiations leading to Confederation really only got into full swing in 1864, against the back-drop of the then rather evident failings of the US Constitution, Canada was intended to have a very strong central government, and weak provinces. Haldane, a guy who never set foot in Canada in his life, made it his mission to turn that wise decision of John A. MacDonald upside-down. Again, that's a long and complicated story.]] Fri 18 Feb 2011 05:56:44 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=90#comment117 111. At 00:28am on 17 Feb 2011, JMM wrote:Question 2. Does Harper and party want to build mega-prisons, mega-churches and a mega military industrial complex? Have they suggested privatizing prisons to ostensibly "save taxpayers' money," but in reality to give friendly companies a way to make profits. Are they considering flexing Canada's military muscle to shock and awe the neighbors, or to intervene in and "save" some other countries? [I'm sure Ste. Pierre & Miqelon wouldn't stand a chance and it would be better to start small.]----------[[Well, first of all, St. Pierre & Miquelon are a department of France, just like Bretagne, Provence, or Normandie. While we have had troubles with France in the past, our relations are, now, about as good as they have ever been.]][[Second, while Harper belongs to the party of the mega-church builders, obviously no public funds can be used for that purpose.]][[Third, defense spending has gone up a long way - roughly double what it was. However, I'm not sure that's so wrong. It was too low before, and now it is probably a bit too high. Certainly we need a greater presence in the arctic - where, in fact, one of our current disputes is with that other terrifying super-power, Denmark.What is more troubling is that the government wants to get out of the peace-keeping business, and adopt a more partisan, aggressive role. For many, many reasons, I believe that is ill considered. Canada is not a super-power. In international affairs we are much, much more like the Scandinavians, who are respected for their fairness and impartiality. That is what gives us the diplomatic reputation that permits us to insert our troops into trouble spots. This is a whole huge topic all by itself.[[Fourth, yes, the government wants to go on a prison building binge.Yes, it is controversial.The government has justified it on the basis of "rising crime".The fact is that crime has fallen 40% over the last 20 years, and public security spending has nearly quadrupled over that period.In a typical Harper-government moment, the minister in charge then told the press that the statistics were wrong, and that there had been a great increase in unreported crime, (i.e., while reported crimes had been falling)...This, of course, was the source of much ridicule in the press.They have steadfastly refused to provide cost estimates to Parliament, even though Parliament is expected to vote on the pertinent legislation.In a really classically Canadian part of the story, this has raised a furor with the provinces.Why?Because, if the US is anything to go by, there is going to be a huge increase in the number of prisoners, and most of them will be serving terms shorter than 2 years. Under our law, any term of less than 2 years is served in a provincial prison, where as longer terms are served in federal penitentiaries. Well, at $100k/prisoner per year, the Provinces are going to be on the hook for a lot of money they don't have.Are the prisons a waste of money?Absolutely. We might just as well flush the money down the toilet.So why does the government want to do it?Because it will drive patronage spending in government ridings, where the new prisons will be located.It would be much better to hire more police with the same money. The problem is that more Police would predominantly benefit the larger urban centers - where nobody votes Conservative.This, however, is what happens when you have a government that thumps its chest about how it is "tough on crime".Well, I'm all for being tough on crime.But this is "stupid on crime". Fri 18 Feb 2011 05:44:51 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=89#comment116 111. At 00:28am on 17 Feb 2011, JMM wrote:Question 1. Does Mr. Harper want to place Canada under the US security shield? I thought Canada was already there, i.e. NORAD, plus the US would certainly protect our northern neighbor from outsiders [not entirely for altruistic reasons, be it admitted].----------[[Yes, we are, but that isn't the problem. The problem is that the border is "thickening", i.e., it is taking longer to get across, and the hassle of going through border security is getting greater and greater.We do $2B of trade across this border, every day. Every bit of friction costs jobs. Every visa requirement deters American tourists from coming here, and deters international tourists from visiting Canada as well as the US.Here's an example: A while ago I was "detained" at the border, and I resented it immensely. It was, in essence, arbitrary arrest without cause. In effect my liberty was lost, and both my person and my property were impounded by the exercise of force by the state, without trial, without counsel, and without any justification.As most of you know, I am a civil rights kind of guy. If I were better schooled in US Constitutional law, I think I might have raised a fairly big fuss about that.My work provides a few man-years of employment to US citizens every year. I do a lot of business in the US, and much of it is to the benefit of Americans. A fair amount of the business I do in Canada is also to the benefit of Americans.I am pissed royally that some 20-something no-mind customs agent could pick me, at random, for arbitrary detention without cause; seize my passport; have my person and vehicle searched; and have me thrown into a waiting hall with a hundred guys from biker gangs, on a whim. I was in a business suit, headed to a meeting with professional colleagues, crossing at a border post where I have crossed for that purpose plenty of times before - which, as I found out later from his supervisor, the customs agent could see on his computer screen.To my mind that idiot customs agent should have been presented with a bill for my time, have been required to apologize in person and in writing - and then been fired. He had absolutely no grounds for having me detained. The excuse "random check" doesn't do it. It wasn't random at all, and even if it had been, that was no excuse. I employ Americans. I have crossed the border way more than a hundred times in my life. I expect to be treated better than that.Fortunately, his supervisor relatively quickly figured out that a mistake had been made.I have been meaning to speak with President Obama about this. I think I'll raise it with him next time we speak.----------Can you see how this Homeland Security Paranoia-fest is bad for business?They have given carte blanche to every bully-boy who puts on a uniform. It is way, way out of control.The government wants to get Canada inside the fence, so that this trans-border friction will be reduced. It's a good idea, in principle, but there are some predictable downsides.First, it will require us to provide private information on our citizens to US authorities, where we fear (with some reasonable justification based on some notorious past cases) that it will be improperly used.Second, there is no guarantee that even if we impinge upon the civil liberties of Canadians in this way that it will make any difference at the border. If you remember to tale of softwood lumber, you will know that America has breached NAFTA over and over in keeping Canadian softwood out of the US, and despite court decision after court decision in our favour, it still kept going on, and keeps going on despite a supposed settlement.In any case, that's what the "perimeter" negotiations are about. Fri 18 Feb 2011 05:18:44 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=89#comment115 Marie: OMG - I took Tae Kwon Do, too! I took it for two years (freshman and sophomore years in high school) and it overlapped ballet.----------------Lol...its a great skill to have! It builds up endurance and muscle control like no other! I made it to brown belt... As a female, it always made me feel strong, proud, respected and more resilient... :)----------------M: I danced in college, but didn’t major in it. I was never the premier, although I was talented and worked hard. I had teachers complain about my turnout that was due to my “bad hips and knees.”---------------They can be awfully picky and intensive, can't they now?Or as some put it, 'precise'...I had one instructor whose bulging giant blue eyes always looked like they would pop out of her head! It was like she could stare into one's soul!But you can see a picture perfect dancer and then see a dancer that is not as perfect but that throws her whole heart and soul into it or does something very unique and I would rather see that one anyday!----------------M: It’s wonderful you and your mom went to ballets together – special memories for you. Yes, I do love watching ballet, and modern, tap and even Fosse-esque dance - all So Beautiful. (I’ve also studied a little tap and mod.)------------------I am pretty lucky I got a good family! I know not everyone has that or gets along...anyhew, of all the many styles of dance, ballet is my favorite. Its the expression, its the music, its the body angles and the passion within the dancer working with the music to create a sublime imagery...its seeing something so hard look so easy...Cirque de soleil is getting big and its very neat, but its not quite the same as simple artistic plain old fashioned ballet....Dancers put so much into it, they sacrifice their bodies, often bruising their feet to go en pointe, stretching the body out in every possible way, what lengths we go to get those special effects which make it so extraordinary....---------------- M: I’ve actually been contemplating taking ballet classes at the community branch of my city’s ballet company, but I’m worried about my butt size (lol), and I began to worry about my “bad knees” again. Which is so dumb – it’s not like I’m training to be a pro! It’s just for fun, and for my posture – so I should just go for it. You’ve inspired me!----------------Dancers dance in different ways and one should not expect all to be the same...regardless, dancing will probably help you get into better shape, so it will probably overall improve the tone of the body as well as the limberness...As far as bad knees go, do you really have knee ailments or is that just it wasn't good enough for instructor?If your knees do have ailments, may hafta check with Dr first...In general, regardless of age, dancing is excellent for ppl's health, especially for posture and back/trunk/core strengthening and stabilization. Of course, everybody's body is different according to the experiences thruout ther life and genetics, so that has to be applied to the equation as well...Whether ppl r young or old, it is very important for them to have hobbies and things they enjoy doing, not just going thru the motions...it makes me sad sometimes to see older ppl just sitting around doing nothing and have no hobbies, but then when you talk to them about when they were younger, an old or current pet, or something they really take interest in, their eyes light right up...and there is nothign better to see than a smile.---------------M: I’ve practiced yoga since 1993 and have taught some classes. I also consider going the yoga-instructor route again, for which I'd need more training. Not that it’s lucrative (which it is not). But there are many ‘not-great’ yoga instructors out there, and it makes me want to teach the right way to do asanas and pranayama. (Yoga and prayer have been the two biggies in my life. No, I'm not Hindu :-).) Yet here I am at my computer, working…. Okay, well, not working! :-)P.S. Maybe I’m having an “internal struggle”? :-----------------That's very cool...I've never done yoga, but have tried tai chi...it almost feels too slow, tho, sometimes...I mostly work with older ppl, helping them to recover from surgeries, decrease their pain, get stronger, maintain or improve their balance and gt aka walking, I get to teach an ex class for older ppl and they do what they can- some more, some less, but its incredibly important to maintain muscle strength and it means a lot to ppl to have physical independence...I am young, but sometimes I feel old working around older ppl, but some of them are younger at heart than I am! Lol...I will say this, "Its never too late to do something you love!" Fri 18 Feb 2011 00:43:54 GMT+1 mariein http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=88#comment114 112. At 00:57am on 17 Feb 2011, LucyJ wrote:“I don't think anyone's too old to dance!”Hi Lucy!OMG - I took Tae Kwon Do, too! I took it for two years (freshman and sophomore years in high school) and it overlapped ballet. I started dance at a small studio, then in the 7th grade I got to move to the local community college that focused on arts. It was awesome being one of 4 young girls with the college dancers. I danced in college, but didn’t major in it. I was never the premier, although I was talented and worked hard. I had teachers complain about my turnout that was due to my “bad hips and knees.” It’s wonderful you and your mom went to ballets together – special memories for you. Yes, I do love watching ballet, and modern, tap and even Fosse-esque dance - all So Beautiful. (I’ve also studied a little tap and mod.) I’ve actually been contemplating taking ballet classes at the community branch of my city’s ballet company, but I’m worried about my butt size (lol), and I began to worry about my “bad knees” again. Which is so dumb – it’s not like I’m training to be a pro! It’s just for fun, and for my posture – so I should just go for it. You’ve inspired me!I’ve practiced yoga since 1993 and have taught some classes. I also consider going the yoga-instructor route again, for which I'd need more training. Not that it’s lucrative (which it is not). But there are many ‘not-great’ yoga instructors out there, and it makes me want to teach the right way to do asanas and pranayama. (Yoga and prayer have been the two biggies in my life. No, I'm not Hindu :-).) Yet here I am at my computer, working…. Okay, well, not working! :-)P.S. Maybe I’m having an “internal struggle”? :-) Thu 17 Feb 2011 16:18:48 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=87#comment113 Sorry, JMM, it's going to have to be tomorrow. Thu 17 Feb 2011 06:01:01 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=86#comment112 111. At 00:28am on 17 Feb 2011, JMMI'll try to answer this in due course, but at the moment I am a bit short of time. I have just posted a long comment on the hot political issue of the day her at # 23 on the other string. Thu 17 Feb 2011 02:28:00 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=86#comment111 Marie: It was neat to read that you were a former dancer (in one of your recent posts). Something in common... Me, too! Ballet all the way to my late 20’s. Then I started doing yoga. A lot of former dancers move onto yoga. You might like it, if you aren’t practicing already.-------------Yeah, I was having fun that day...:)Do you still do dancing every now and then?Or attend ballets?I'm probably not as good are you are b'c I did not go as long as you...altho, its not just how good you are, its also what you put into the dance that makes it what it is...but you are likely more trained...;)I took ballet, jazz and tap as a child, it was so much fun and my mother would always take me to see ballets, as my dad and older bros never obviously wanted to go! Lol...I loved watching those ballets, tho, there is soemthing absolutely breathtaking and aweinspring about light as air ballerinas sailing thru the air and the message sent thru the form of dance...it truly amazes me what these artistas are able to do...When I got older, I switched to taekwondo for several years because my dad wanted me to know how to defend myself...I loved taekwondo also because the forms are in a way like a different kind of dance- much more boxy, tho, all about defense...and I also was good sprinter...In high school, I revisited my dancing years being on the High School dance team (the cheerleaders were the elites, the dance team were the grrrls just wanna have fun!) and that was truly awesoem and fun- in band, I got to play clarinet all quarters- my fave songs were Hey Baby and Final Countdown and Tequila- and then at half time, got to dance, which in my opinion was more fun than cheerleading!And as the tide washes in...The art of dance lives on...I don't think anyone's too old to dance! Thu 17 Feb 2011 00:57:50 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=85#comment110 Mr. Mardell,Far be it for me to stick my nose into your job. However the other great British news source is curently running a very confusing article about the Canadian government. I am sure the subject would benefit from your attention. In case that is not possible, I hope you won't mind my asking InterestedForeigner a few questions about it here on your America blog.Question 1. Does Mr. Harper want to place Canada under the US security shield? I thought Canada was already there, i.e. NORAD, plus the US would certainly protect our northern neighbor from ousiders [not entirely for altruistic reasons, be it admitted].Question 2. Does Harper and party want to build mega-prisons, mega-churches and a mega military industrial complex? Have they suggested privatizing prisons to ostensibly "save taxpayers' money," but in reality to give friendly companies a way to make profits. Are they considering flexing Canada's military muscle to shock and awe the neighbors, or to intervene in and "save" some other countries? [I'm sure Ste. Pierre & Miqelon wouldn't stand a chance and it would be better to start small.]Question 3. Would harper's party follow the pattern of the GWB regime and push for right-wing Christian laws such as prohibiting same-sex marriage, prohibiting death with dignity [assisted suicide] and prohibiting medical marajuana?Question 4. Would the Harper government trample on Canada's equivalent of Amendment 10 which assigns the items in #3 solely to the individual states. And I don't think Canada has separation of Church and state, but if so, is or would the separation be in danger from this government?Thank you in advance for the carification,your friendly but nosey southern neighbor,JMM Thu 17 Feb 2011 00:28:46 GMT+1 mariein http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=84#comment109 108. At 6:00pm on 16 Feb 2011, Interestedforeigner wrote:“Or, alternatively, in TV debates, the election candidates could be positioned over a tank of water.Viewers could vote electronically on whether they were avoiding the question with spin (or lying outright).Each transgression would result in the floor sliding a few inches farther open - like a cross between a James Bond movie, a medieval witch dunking, and a Japanese game show.After three dunkings they could let sharks into the tank ...”---------------------LOL. What a hilarious image! Wed 16 Feb 2011 22:23:42 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=83#comment108 Two days ago on this blog I made what I thought were fully merited comments in respect of the print media in Toronto, Canada.In particular, I referred to the National Post as a bird-cage lining service.There is a remote possibility (exceedingly remote, I should have thought, but anyway) that, stung by that characterization, the National Post has today found religion:http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/02/15/national-post-editorial-board-bev-oda-should-resign-or-be-fired/To the extent that they are making amends, I make this posting with the same level of prominence as that formerly made.-------Alternatively: Stephen, if even the National Post says she has to go, wake up and smell the coffee, man. Wed 16 Feb 2011 18:54:31 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=82#comment107 98. At 00:08am on 16 Feb 2011, Grateful Marie wrote:"You know who else repeats the listener’s or interviewer’s name? Obama.... By now, we’ve all heard this tactic enough, and it’s just fake-sounding, pretentious, and annoying."__________Agreed.And if you find it annoying on TV, it's even worse on Radio.Michael Ignatieff did this, over and over, on "The House" on CBC Radio. I eventually turned the interview off because it was so annoying.Can't remember what the interview was about. Just remember how annoying his manner was - and Ignatieff himself is a former TV presenter, in the UK no less!It is so condescending. And a lot of them do it.Oh, for the good old days with Barbara Frum. She would have impaled them on their own words.----------Another bad habit: reading answers, or reciting pre-scripted answers. The judicious, (and yet liberal), use of an electric cattle-prod might not be an inappropriate corrective.Or, alternatively, in TV debates, the election candidates could be positioned over a tank of water.Viewers could vote electronically on whether they were avoiding the question with spin (or lying outright).Each transgression would result in the floor sliding a few inches farther open - like a cross between a James Bond movie, a medieval witch dunking, and a Japanese game show.After three dunkings they could let sharks into the tank ...Bet that would increase ratings. Wed 16 Feb 2011 18:00:24 GMT+1 Steve http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=82#comment106 "Saudi would be so risky."The real risk for the US in all of these cases is that it may result in a democracy whose foreign policy actually reflects the will of its people, since the people in these countries do not support US goals. Perhaps they shouldn't worry though, since foreign policy tends to be very detached from public views, at least in western countries.In either case, our support for these brutal regimes needs far more coverage and not just in these times of revolt. Western policies in the Middle East are hypocritical and cause much suffering and oppression. Recent event must surely have made this clear enough. Journalists should not mince their words on these issues."But universal values mean so much more if they are not just applied to hostile regimes."In other words, US policy is hypocritical. Wed 16 Feb 2011 17:07:14 GMT+1 KScurmudgeon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=81#comment105 Isn't there a parallel universe somewhere nearby where all these conspiracies have substance? Where shadows deepen,.. and deepen, ans shift and the sunlight never shows, except to seem to hang from multiples of sources of light - and never a sun? I always knew, somehow, there was a dark seamy side to Fantasyland, under the pavement that they scrubbed so thoroughly in the bright lights of the night in the magic kingdom. I didn't suspect it was in Tomorrowland, then, but here we are.KScurmudgeonit was a magic place Wed 16 Feb 2011 05:32:11 GMT+1 mariein http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=80#comment104 86. At 6:39pm on 15 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote: “...(Palin) was probably an overall positive since you don't stand a chance if your own party base is not excited about you.”As soon as it showed that they didn’t know her that well, that McCain didn’t even know her very well, she was a negative. Either way, whether he knew her or not, Palin equalled sheer disappointment and uncertainty in McCain. I don't think she was the right dose of conservativeness the base was looking for on the ticket. I believe some Republicans who voted for McCain/Palin took that one tiny consolation when their ticket lost. I know it is almost unbelievable, but there it is. Will the GOP be so brazenly stupid again?And Colin Powell backed the Democrat…. That was the weirdest election. Wed 16 Feb 2011 04:57:23 GMT+1 mariein http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=79#comment103 99. At 01:18am on 16 Feb 2011, LucyJ wrote: “Marie, the good thing about Obama is that he's not Berlusconi!”Well, that is true. That would be too far beyond humorous.-----------------------Lucy wrote:“Good for the Italian women- way to stand up for yourselves!”Yes - quite cool. :-)-----------------------P.S. Lucy, It was neat to read that you were a former dancer (in one of your recent posts). Something in common... Me, too! Ballet all the way to my late 20’s. Then I started doing yoga. A lot of former dancers move onto yoga. You might like it, if you aren’t practicing already. Wed 16 Feb 2011 04:18:26 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=79#comment102 re: 60 Oldloadr For me to believe that a man or woman that grew up in that environment was basically a good and decent person, I would have to see that person walking hand in hand with Jesus across Lake Michigan.Well, ... at least you're keeping an open mind. Wed 16 Feb 2011 03:10:09 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=78#comment101 86. At 6:39pm on 15 Feb 2011, Oldloadr wrote: “...I know you all in the middle were getting all kinds of scare stories about Sarah,...”Have you actually listened to Sarah Palin’s interviews on TV [and I mean the real one not Tina Fey]? If the moderators were not so touchy about youtube links I could list a few that would have any intelligent high school student writing in laughter or scratching his/her head that this nonsense could come from an adult.The idea that this could come from someone a heartbeat away from an elderly POTUS is eminently scary. Anyone who listens to her and is not horrified, or thinks she is intelligent and/or educated enough to be anywhere near the White House is[comment removed to avoid offending the moderators, add your own] Wed 16 Feb 2011 01:45:28 GMT+1 worcesterjim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=77#comment100 99 Yeah Lucy...a real nation of Monica Lewinskis those Italians! Wed 16 Feb 2011 01:26:19 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=76#comment99 Jim: 92..Lucy...are we at cross purposes here? Or are you just using me to get at Mark Mardell?---------Nah...just find it interesting the interest the British have in Palin...:) Wed 16 Feb 2011 01:22:56 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=75#comment98 Marie, the good thing about Obama is that he's not Berlusconi!http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110215/ap_on_bi_ge/eu_italy_berlusconi_scandalAn excerpt:The 74-year-old Italian premier was ordered Tuesday to stand trial on charges he paid a 17-year-old Moroccan girl for sex, and then used his influence to cover it up — an offense that, if proven, could see him barred permanently from public office. More than a million women took to the streets over the weekend to protest what they called the denigrating treatment of women. ---------Good for the Italian women- way to stand up for yourselves!What's that famous line?He** hath no fury like a woman scorned!Multiply that x millions of Italian women!!! Wed 16 Feb 2011 01:18:34 GMT+1 mariein http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=75#comment97 94. At 9:14pm on 15 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote: “78 No..my brain is getting old GM...but I don`t think that is why your post confused me GM.”Well, I apologize for the confusion. Thanks for writing GM twice, because if you hadn’t, I wouldn’t have known you were still talking to me.-----------------------------You know who else repeats the listener’s or interviewer’s name? Obama. I believe the number of times he says the interviewer’s name increases the more he perceives him/her to be an enemy. Watch his next interview. I think people do this because they were told that it intimidates the other person, or gives them more control over the conversation. By now, we’ve all heard this tactic enough, and it’s just fake-sounding, pretentious, and annoying. And even more so because the freakin’ president is doing it, and he’s appearing even more sophomoric because of it. Someone should tell him. It is one of the many things that make him the ever-lawyer. I wonder when he’s done, in 2 to 6 years, how much people’s feelings will be changed, about the thing that got him in - his speak*. I think the numbers will remain the same. My bet is people will just change seats, some tired of it, and others romanced by it. But really, the legacy he’s dreaming about will depend on the results of his policies and if those results are showing yet. If that goes well, then they’ll be talking about his speeches until I’m dead.*Can we start using ‘speak’ on its own as a noun yet? (I love it.)-----------------------------The problem is, people would laugh in understanding at something like this, a critique on name-repetition, if it were someone else. But because it’s about Obama, defenses shoot up. It makes it all less fun. (Boo hoo. I’m much soppier over the less fun, than his speeches.) Wed 16 Feb 2011 00:08:43 GMT+1 worcesterjim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=74#comment96 96 Yes Snaggers...folks are suspiciously coy about this around here for people so keen to get at the truth (ho ho!)...but the CIA and George Soros are alleged to be major players in the regime change industry...but you can google the phrase "regime change" with phrases like Open Society Foundation and CIA and read for yourself.Don`t worry about the professional truth obscurers on this blog...just ignore all their diversionary tactics and think for yourself! Tue 15 Feb 2011 23:49:19 GMT+1 Snagletooth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=73#comment95 22. At 6:43pm on 14 Feb 2011, MagicKirin wrote:Syria, Lebanon and Venezuela would also be excellent and needed places for a revolution and an end to despotic rulers-------------------------Isn't that how the despots of those countries got into power in the first place, through a "revolution" of one form or another? Tue 15 Feb 2011 23:02:04 GMT+1 Mirino http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=72#comment94 N° 94 worcesterjimI'm in France by the way, therefore the US President isn't 'my politician'. Yet his decisions in world affairs obviously concern us all. As already stated, if I was a US citizen, it's certain that I would have voted for him, only to realise some months later that I was wrong to have done so.Excerpt from BBC new item of today:(...) but he (Obama) added that the US "cannot ultimately dictate what happens inside of Iran".Yet apparently no problem in dictating to Egypt, despite Mubarak's insisting that no external power can pretend to assume this right. Tue 15 Feb 2011 21:42:03 GMT+1 worcesterjim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=72#comment93 78 No..my brain is getting old GM...but I don`t think that is why your post confused me GM.79 nostramo...I think (on reflection) you have a case which I was wrong to attribute to simple anti-Obama sentiment...my apologies!You are far too hard on your politicians...and really ought to realise that they are subject to some very powerful interests...like that Emanuel chap the fundraiser.92..Lucy...are we at cross purposes here? Or are you just using me to get at Mark Mardell? Tue 15 Feb 2011 21:14:19 GMT+1 The Cool Ruler Rides Again http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=71#comment92 This post has been Removed Tue 15 Feb 2011 20:20:27 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=70#comment91 oldloadr: I know you all in the middle were getting all kinds of scare stories about Sarah,-----Direct from the horse's mouth...that interview with Katie Couric was pretty raw and it made many not want to vote for her...I watched it, a Pres/VP candidate has to know how to handle all q's whether tricky or not, anyway, regardless...as I said, I like Palin, I just could not vote for any Repubs at that particular point in time...------------oldloadr: but McCain's problem was the base who thought he was not conservative enough; she brought out the base and increased the energy within the party so she was probably an overall positive------------Perhaps...but it did make many people who were mushy middle (who is needed, yes, we are needed for votes) not want to vote for McCain due to her...but above all, be true to thineself and that is what Repub did, I cannot fault them for such...The most important factor was Republican brand, it went sour at the end of Bush second term mostly due to economy...altho yes, I agree Congress is very important, the Dem led Congress with Pelosi at helm during Bush Jr era did bad job of economy...--------Jim: If you stopped murdering anyone who resists being robbed by you and concentrated on living honestly and peaceably folk like Mrs P would get a good education and be a credit to you all.--------Regardless of not winning election, why is Palin not a credit already?After all, Mardell has had many blogs devoted to her, which tells us the British have interest.. Tue 15 Feb 2011 20:16:39 GMT+1 Mirino http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=69#comment90 Peaess. I think Hilary Clinton has got more guts and political clout than the US President. Tue 15 Feb 2011 20:15:05 GMT+1 Mirino http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=68#comment89 To Worcesterjim (79, 80)Your first observation is obvious, but it can't be considered a justification.Your second 'explanation' is false. If the moderators really believed that I had honed in just to clobber Obama, they would have perceived this immediately and consequently never published my comments. Your opinion doesn't change this.I, along with millions of people in the world, are preoccupied by certain events that are taking place, also determined by those who have been elected to represent us. Fortunately we still live in democracies which give us the right to express our opinions. I would go as far as to say that it's also our responsibility to express them. What is taking place in Egypt is very preoccupying. I believe that Mubarak was far more aware of the dangers of such a transition than Obama ever was. I also believe that Obama was over zealous in pushing him to resign, and I'm even inclined to believe that Obama was more tempted to take advantage of the populist aspect of the situation, than ponder on the far more significant and critical geopolitical aspect. He was incorrect and unstatesmanly to make his declaration speaking of Mubarak's forthcoming resignation, before Mubarak himself had made any declaration, and had Mubarak not fallen ill, apparently still in a coma, it's probable that he would have continued in order to oversee the transition as he categorically confirmed was his intention. Ironically, and tragically for him, it seems to be this turn of events that has also saved the face of Obama. The future of the ME however, still rests very uncertain. Tue 15 Feb 2011 20:12:48 GMT+1 mariein http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=68#comment88 85. At 6:27pm on 15 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote: “84 Well if that`s clarification GM thanks goodness you aren`t here to obfuscate!”Ha ha!-------------------------------87. At 7:11pm on 15 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote: “Mrs Palin`s brain is fine...”But, is yours? Tue 15 Feb 2011 19:36:10 GMT+1 Mirino http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=67#comment87 78. John_From_DublinNot convinced I'm afraid. Not only many of the Egyptian demonstrators made an amalgam with Mubarak and Obama (which was perfectly reasonable) they also made one with Mubarak and Israel, which was also perfectly reasonable.Obviously I understood your argument. It simple enough for anyone to understand. I was pointing out a few things that I consider inconsistent with it. Inconsistency and incoherence seem to run in pair with Obama's foreign policy. Certainly in Afghanistan, for another, even more flagrant example. As soon as a healthy crowd in Egypt developed, which in relation to the enormous population can't really be considered representative, Obama dropped Mubarak like a ton of bricks.Whilst hundreds of demonstrators were being arrested and some targeted and murdered in Iran during their demonstration against what they considered to be a fraudulent result as well as a thug regime, Obama was far less present, in the noble name of democracy.One can go to extremes, if one wishes to point out the possibility that one can make such preposterous suggestions. Why? Because the foreign policy of Obama often seems ambiguous, far from clear. As far as principles and integrity go, which he does his best to royally project, there often seems to be, in my view, an interrogation mark. Tue 15 Feb 2011 19:12:56 GMT+1 worcesterjim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=66#comment86 Mrs Palin`s brain is fine...it`s just you spent all your money meddling in our affairs instead of educating your own children folks.If you stopped murdering anyone who resists being robbed by you and concentrated on living honestly and peaceably folk like Mrs P would get a good education and be a credit to you all. Tue 15 Feb 2011 19:11:02 GMT+1 Oldloadr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=65#comment85 82. At 4:37pm on 15 Feb 2011, LucyJ wrote: And when did he announce Palin?(don't discount that effect)________________________________________The convention was in August (which is when he picked her), I believe and the meltdown started in October. I know you all in the middle were getting all kinds of scare stories about Sarah, but McCain's problem was the base who thought he was not conservative enough; she brought out the base and increased the energy within the party so she was probably an overall positive since you don't stand a chance if your own party base is not excited about you. Harry Truman is the only candidate to ever win under those circumstances. Tue 15 Feb 2011 18:39:41 GMT+1 worcesterjim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=65#comment84 84 Well if that`s clarification GM thanks goodness you aren`t here to obfuscate! Tue 15 Feb 2011 18:27:59 GMT+1 mariein http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=64#comment83 To clarify my #81: I meant “it’s true” about the administrations comparison regarding Egypt. Last sentence in #78. Not about #80 preceding my post. I do not believe Nostrano is just “here with one intention,” as worcesterjim put it. Tue 15 Feb 2011 17:05:17 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=63#comment82 RH: More people pay attention to Biden speaking than to anything Hillary has ever said in her entire life. ---------------Biden is funny, has a great smile, twinkle in his eye and I like how he tells you just what he thinks and does not try to hide anything up...I love Hillary. Both she and Chelsea actually been some of my idols, along with Bob Dylan and others a long time. I have a lot of respect for Hillary and during primary, I voted for her instead of Obama to be Pres.I wish Hillary had won...she is incredibly intelligent and often does not get hte credit she deserves...Hillary is the greatest assest of the Obama Admin...I think America would be worse off position if we did not also have Hillary...Thank you, Hillary, for not abandoning the American people when we need you most... Tue 15 Feb 2011 16:46:14 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=62#comment81 oldloadr: Most young voters don’t even know the history of the political parties, the scandals of the past or the cesspool that Chicago is, politically (we have other cesspools, but this is Obama’s cesspool). For me to believe that a man or woman that grew up in that environment was basically a good and decent person, I would have to see that person walking hand in hand with Jesus across Lake Michigan.---------I wish I had been more interested in high school, but it simply went in one ear and out the other. Even if you tell them, they might not be interested, anyway, until they realize how much it directly affects them...I know my friends and I avoided all mention of politics in high school as we were all happy, economy was good and no one cared much until the Iraq War began and then several years after that, our economy started going downhill...it wasn't the soldiers or war efforts fault, did not have to do with them- it was Bush and both Repub led and Dem led Congress who did not find a way to replace the money spent on the war...Bush and Congress kept spending more and more while Bush decreased taxes paid by corps and rich, essentially placing the heaviest burden on Middle class, which today is folding due to Bush and Congress, so if they had found a way to replace the war money, then economy would be good and I believe Bush and Congress would be seen in positive light and people would be easing off the political insanity...---------oldloadr: However, with all of that, McCain was ahead in the polls until the bail-out vote, and then he went into an unrecoverable flat-spin (at least this time he didn’t end up in Hanoi). ---------And when did he announce Palin?(don't discount that effect)There were many Repubs who wanted to vote for McCain, but did not trust Palin if she ever had to take over for McCain, as he was an older guy and its hard to predict future...I think since Obama is black, Repubs wanted an edge at having someone outside the norm, but I think Palin was simply too much, altho I actually do like Palin, but would not vote for her to be Pres, VP or SoH...I think McCain made a big mistake in choosing Palin as his running mate...of course, it was smart he did not choose anyone from Bush Admin to run with, as that was what many people were trying to get away from and would have likely led to even less votes than with Palin...Which is why teh Repubs' best bet is to run with both reg Repubs and teh Tea party folk, as the Tea Party has highly energized the whole party and redefined it as more of an independent agenda represetning real ppl being against selling out America...prob is, some Tea Partyers are true radicals with strange ideas and some Tea Partyers are incredibly smart, intelligent and would do a great job, so have to pick and choose wisely...I just want a President who will do whats right regardless of whats easy or ultraliberal/pc and who will find a way to rise up America's industry once again... Tue 15 Feb 2011 16:37:26 GMT+1 mariein http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=62#comment80 It’s true. I don’t believe a McCain administration would’ve done anything drastically better with the Egypt situation than the ‘Obama regime’ (see #73) did. And it could’ve been worse, from today’s view.But don’t forget: we’re all still waiting for the fat lady(ies) to sing. No crystal ball here. Tue 15 Feb 2011 15:42:52 GMT+1 worcesterjim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=61#comment79 78 John...would it help if I explained that nostrano is here with one intention...to knock Obama! The ME is just a canvas upon which he paints his Jackson Pollocks. Tue 15 Feb 2011 15:29:24 GMT+1 worcesterjim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=60#comment78 77 Nostra...I think you might find Mubarak was being lent on to placate the protestors when he praised them....and hoping to survive by connecting himself with the army and people.The Iranians have had more than enough manipulation by people who are really playing American party politics when they interfere in the affairs of the ME. Tue 15 Feb 2011 14:59:48 GMT+1 John_From_Dublin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=59#comment77 # 74 Nostrano wrote: “To John-From-Dublin (73)”Your argument seems a bit weak,”Right backatcha!“ although one fully understands the point you are making.”Really? I somehow doubt it, since the point you are arguing against is nothing like what I argued. ”There was also a great deal of anti-Americanism shown by Egyptian demonstrators, who well knew that Mubarak had always been supported by the West.”I didn’t notice this, and I am unclear as to its relevance, if any“It still comes down to incoherent double standards…/So, Obama feels more inclined to stab Mubarak in the back and encourage Egyptian revolt that could even lead to totalitarianism, than he is to encourage Iranian revolt that could lead to real Iranian democracy, or certainly something a lot better and safer than the bellicose and oppressive system of the present regime. /In fact the argument is so incoherent that one wonders if Obama doesn't secretly have Islamic sympathies. He can't be as naive as to imagine that if ever- by good fortune- Egypt establishes a real democracy, it's going to be just like a 'Disney land, made in America one'. And we should also give him credit for being sincere. He humbly offered Ahmadinejad his hand. Isn't that in itself a gesture of good will, complicity and confidence? He also said it loud and clear, 'Islam is a great religion'. In this case why encourage Iranians who dare to have such aspirations of freedom, when they are being governed by a regime who represents this great religion about as radically as it could ever be?”With respect, I would suggest that yours is the argument that is incoherent.The following is, as far as I can see, what you appear to be arguing1. Obama supported the protests in Egypt, even though they could lead to totalitarianism, but not those in Iran, that could lead to democracy. 2. He ‘stabbed Mubarak in the back’. (Your choice of words is loaded, and most revealing.) 3. This means he wanted the Egyptian regime overthrown but did not want the Iranian one overthrown. The likely reason for this is that he ‘secretly has Islamic sympathies’, and Iran’s is an extreme Islamic regime.4. He ‘humbly offered Ahmadinejad his hand’, which suggests ‘complicity’ of some sort.Piffle.I have seen no evidence that he favours the Iranian regime. If he does, why is his Sec of State now criticising the regime, and supporting protesters?Your implication is that, because he attempted diplomacy with Iran, this meant he liked or favoured the regime there. It was Churchill who said ‘jaw jaw is better than war war’. I would suggest that it is just as likely that he felt that diplomacy should always be tried – but also that, if it clearly didn’t work, it would make it easier for the US to get cooperation from other countries if any kind of harsher action has to be taken against Iran. I would also reiterate – it seems extremely possible to me that his administration decided that openly supporting the protestors in Iran might make some people in the US feel better, but would do little to help them, and simply play into the hands of the Iranian govt, who could use this as ‘proof’ that the protestors were being funded and/or controlled by forces outside Iran. Yes it is true that the Egyptian ‘revolution’ might lead to totalitarianism and the Iranian, if successful, might lead to democracy. But the reverse is also true – and in fact both are true of any revolution. Your argument appears to be that Obama should have backed Mubarak because whatever succeeds him might possibly be worse. That was Mubarak’s argument. Not many people seem to have swallowed it. Obama’s regime has had a v difficult task – they may have sympathised with the Egyptian protestors, but no doubt they were also alive to the possibility that the protestors might not succeed, and the US would be in a position of having offended a powerful ally in Egypt, not to mention other important allies in places like Saudi. I have no doubt they didn’t handle it perfectly – but I see no reason to think a McCain/Palin administration would have done any better. Tue 15 Feb 2011 14:27:05 GMT+1 Mirino http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=58#comment76 To Worcesterjim (76)Thanks for the name and thus the inf. But as such it's of no credit to Obama, because if he's not driven by 'Islamic sympathies', his off-hand foreign politics would seem to be as ill-considered as they are inconsistent. So maybe it's true after all that he imagines that 'Democracy' is a sort of global miracle Disney Land cure.Could one ever imagine Ahmadinejad praising his people for their 'just fight for freedom', adding that 'all those who died did not do so in vain?' ( Mubarak's own words). Tue 15 Feb 2011 13:42:26 GMT+1 worcesterjim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=58#comment75 74 Nostromo might learn something about who could have been behind the repeal of the Glass Steagal Acts (and how it`s unlikely Obama is driven by "Islamic sympathies") if he googles the name Rahm Emanuel and reads the Wikipedia description of this prominent and influntial politician who has been at the centre of the Clinton and Obama election campaigns and subsequent administrations. Tue 15 Feb 2011 12:56:14 GMT+1 worcesterjim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=57#comment74 72 nostrano and Magic..as a matter of interest if the Islamists had always supported Israel`s "right to exist" would Geert Wilders and all the other anti-islamists have anything like the amount of media space and air time and crdibility they are currently granted by your global capitalist media and tame politicians?In a similar vein I used to believe that the UK global capitalist press was really antagonistic to the Soros/CIA European Union .....until one day it dawned on me that they were just pressing the EU to do what Wall Street wanted...... and had no intention of completely freeing the UK from the EU.... any more than they really wanted to stop the mass immigration of millions of muslims (while there was a profit to be made from it and it sabotaged our welfare state and pitiful remnants of organised labour). Tue 15 Feb 2011 12:44:09 GMT+1 Mirino http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=56#comment73 To John-From-Dublin (73)Your argument seems a bit weak, although one fully understands the point you are making. It still comes down to incoherent double standards.There was also a great deal of anti-Americanism shown by Egyptian demonstrators, who well knew that Mubarak had always been supported by the West.So, Obama feels more inclined to stab Mubarak in the back and encourage Egyptian revolt that could even lead to totalitarianism, than he is to encourage Iranian revolt that could lead to real Iranian democracy, or certainly something a lot better and safer than the bellicose and oppressive system of the present regime.In fact the argument is so incoherent that one wonders if Obama doesn't secretly have Islamic sympathies. He can't be as naive as to imagine that if ever- by good fortune- Egypt establishes a real democracy, it's going to be just like a 'Disney land, made in America one'. And we should also give him credit for being sincere. He humbly offered Ahmadinejad his hand. Isn't that in itself a gesture of good will, complicity and confidence? He also said it loud and clear, 'Islam is a great religion'. In this case why encourage Iranians who dare to have such aspirations of freedom, when they are being governed by a regime who represents this great religion about as radically as it could ever be? Tue 15 Feb 2011 11:43:26 GMT+1 John_From_Dublin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=55#comment72 # 67. At 09:25am on 15 Feb 2011, MagicKirin wrote: “ref #49 and 49The 2009 protesters did want out support this is from a liberal sourcehttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/04/iranian-protesters-obama_n_345220.html”The text of the link is as follows“A video on Youtube appears to show protesters in Iran chanting, "Obama: Are you with us or against us?"/Wednesday, the 30th anniversary of the U.S. embassy takeover, saw competing protests in Iran as both anti-U.S. and anti-Iranian government protesters took to the streets./The HuffPost cannot verify the authenticity of this video.”The last sentence, and the word ‘appears’, seem to me to be of special relevance.I don’t know what the protestors wanted. Even if some of them genuinely chanted “, "Obama: Are you with us or against us?", that scarcely proves that this was the view of most or all.And I do understand that the Iranian regime likes to paint any opposition as being inspired by the US, Israel etc. It seems to me therefore entirely possible that the Obama regime thought – rightly or wrongly - that open support for protest in Iran would be of little benefit to the protesters, and would indeed play into the hands of the Iranian government.It is obvious as well that the way the US responds to protest in Egypt, an ally that it sends billions in aid to, is hardly the same as the way it would respond to protest in Iran – part of the ‘Axis of Evil’.Put simply, the US would reasonably expect to have influence in Egypt and with the Egyptian government, not with the Iranian.However, it’s much easier for a Neocon to chant ‘Obama is weak, he’s an appeaser’ etc etc etc Tue 15 Feb 2011 11:06:52 GMT+1 Mirino http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=55#comment71 Democracy: Utopia, or an auto-destructive system? Lebanon, the multicultural jewel of the Middle East before and between the two world wars, seems to be desperately hanging on to it's constitution to retain some of its original identity to survive. But when the government is obliged to give space to Hezbollah, surely it can only be the beginning of the end. And if it can happen there, it can happen anywhere. A question of time and numbers. If ever, if not whenever, the majority of 'Europeans' become Moslem, naturally they'll call the shots? Shoes would be flying in the House of Lords.Start by allowing a bit of Sharia law in the old sod, officially to ease the overload that the British judicial system has to contend with. That's ok, but if you're going to recognise the legitimacy of some, where, in principle, do you draw the line- during the period that you still have the privilege to do so?'Well we do understand and fully respect your religious requirements Mustafa Cuppa, but we consider it a bit unconstitutional to hang homosexuals. Couldn't we just deport the ones that don't matter so much to Australia, and keep the more eminent and useful politicians?'..The developments in Egypt are going to spell it all out for posterity. In Iran any demonstrating is now limited to the weekends. It's token demonstrating, similar to Hamas token aggression. It's probable that the Iranian protesters are also biding their time to see first how things are going to work out in Egypt. If the results are worth it, then maybe the protesting won't just be limited to week-ends and bank holidays.I recently read an Italian article stating that the Moslem Brethren are embarrassed by the discovery of an alleged declaration by one of their top representatives, words to the effect of- 'Israel has more right to live in the Holy Land than the Palestinians'. Whoops.. Whatever, times are certainly changing..' Tue 15 Feb 2011 10:58:12 GMT+1 John_From_Dublin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=54#comment70 62. At 08:02am on 15 Feb 2011, The Man Of A Thousand Faces wrote: “#59"Notice (see news today) that the dynamic has changed sufficiently that it is now acceptable for Hilary Clinton explicitly and in public to support..."More people pay attention to Biden speaking than to anything Hillary has ever said in her entire life.Except for you.”Any evidence? Any proof?Certainly I have seen reports of what Clinton said, and footage of it, on the BBC many times. Biden - not so much. Tue 15 Feb 2011 10:50:49 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=53#comment69 worcesterjim, (#65. At 09:20am on 15 Feb 2011)”... Democracy?.....There`s another almost religious social myth! ...”“Myth?” Foolish nonsense. Tue 15 Feb 2011 10:44:21 GMT+1 Oldloadr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=52#comment68 62. At 08:02am on 15 Feb 2011, RHammond wrote:More people pay attention to Biden speaking than to anything Hillary has ever said in her entire life. _________________________________________________People only listen to Biden to see which foot is going in his mouth next. Listening to him speak is like watching NASCAR, you know a wreck is coming, and you just don’t’ know when, but honestly, that is why you are really watching… Tue 15 Feb 2011 09:35:01 GMT+1 Oldloadr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=51#comment67 65. At 09:20am on 15 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:....in the time honoured casino capitalist market forces winner-takes-all tradition previously exemplified by Ghenkis Khan!__________________________________________________________But at least Genghis Kahn was good for the environment. He killed so many people that parts of Western Asia and Eastern Europe experienced reforestation of farm land, thereby reducing eh overall carbon footprint (or hoof-print) of the Mongolian Empire. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1350272/Genghis-Khan-killed-people-forests-grew-carbon-levels-dropped.html Tue 15 Feb 2011 09:30:31 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=51#comment66 ref #49 and 49The 2009 protesters did want out support this is from a liberal sourcehttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/04/iranian-protesters-obama_n_345220.html Tue 15 Feb 2011 09:25:14 GMT+1 TrueToo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=50#comment65 Ros Atkins of World Have Your Say hosted an fascinating programme on the Muslim Brotherhood last night, putting questions from listeners around the world to two senior members of the MB. The questions were tough and Ros pulled no punches and would not let his guests get away with their evasive answers: Your questions to the Muslim Brotherhoodhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/whys(Programme will be available to download for a week.)This was in stark contrast to Choe Tilly, who basically just stood aside and let the comrades of the revolution take over the WHYS programmes she hosted.Much of the World Service output was along similar lines, with BBC journalists following the revolt with breathless admiration and then bewilderment and anger as Mubarak supporters launced launched counter-demonstrations and attacks.There was little intelligent analysis of the situation from the World Service. Perhaps this will change now that the dust has settled and the work of creating order out if chaos has begun.Of course, the main question behind all the others is whether the MB would establish an Iranian-type radical Islamic state if it came to power in Egypt. There is no doubt that it would, though the spokesmen on the programme last night were doing their best to portray themselves as no more threatening than kindly little old ladies at a book club.They are a social organisation they insisted, with no political agenda, only interested in what is best for Egypt and apparently quite prepared to stand aside and allow the Egyptian people to set the agenda for Egypt.As the old saying goes:If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Tue 15 Feb 2011 09:22:58 GMT+1 worcesterjim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=49#comment64 So if I am to understand you folks correctly humanity is obliged to be grateful to Wall Street and its supporters for a form of global governance that allows religious orders like the Islamists and the Churches to decide what half of humanity believes about itself (and what it feels about the other half of humanity)....and what the eventual population figures of the global community are going to be before Armaggedon sweeps us all away? (Perhaps the USA can take the Tunisians who are reaching Sicily as we speak...no ..silly me....Mr Soros and the CIA will ensure they all reach England while Mr Mardell distracts us!)Furthermore in what remains of the first world we have folks like Mr Curmudgeon telling us that the rest of us "envy the US/UK people their standard of living" Well the neoliberals will ensure they don`t do that for much longer Mr Curmudgeon!Market forces will dealwith that misperception very soon now as multiculturalism collapses into civil war. Come to think of it if they knew what life was really like in our countries (for a significant proportion of the unfortunates who were born here) they might turn around and stay where they are!Democracy?.....There`s another almost religious social myth!You all gibber on about democracy as though it was a real factor in our lives when surely it`s obvious that we pampered prattling self important internet pundits NEVER had ANY say in how our nations were governed and aren`t about to either.Can`t you see that in reality all the internet is doing is making us helpless spectators ...we are not a real part global governance by virtue of our talents or understanding or entitlement or political systems...no fear..the sort of attitudes expressed by certain far righters on here are the REAL voice of the powerful...the rest of us are just window dressing....fooling ourselves that our opinions count while the powerful carry on laughing at us and taking us to the cleaners! Forget about Marx and Keynes and Obama....just steal yourself a few books by Dickens and some Hogarth prints and take a good look at what we are handing over to our descendents.How long will it be before our descendents are in open boats seeking asylum? How long before the third world rises up and takes us over by pure force of numbers and out of sheer desperation?They won`t be "voting" themselves our land ...they will just TAKE it....in the time honoured casino capitalist market forces winner-takes-all tradition previously exemplified by Ghenkis Khan! Tue 15 Feb 2011 09:20:30 GMT+1 calmandhope http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=48#comment63 @Oldloadr, sorry for the late reply, finished work early yesterday and didn't want to get back on at home. Agreed though with the "limousine liberals", I think at the moment we're getting a similar sort of character over here. A few of them were in power in the last government and although I'm (left of) centre, I think that they did more to damage the lefts cause than I thought possible. Tue 15 Feb 2011 09:01:07 GMT+1 calmandhope http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=48#comment62 LucyJ @ 39 I think you summed it up perfectly there. The Reps brand was damaged, and people were tired. Every country needs a change, and it was time for Americas. May not have turned out the best, but a change was certainly needed. At the next elections is where it will get interesting for your country though.... Tue 15 Feb 2011 08:43:46 GMT+1 JClarkson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=47#comment61 #59"Notice (see news today) that the dynamic has changed sufficiently that it is now acceptable for Hilary Clinton explicitly and in public to support..."More people pay attention to Biden speaking than to anything Hillary has ever said in her entire life. Except for you. Tue 15 Feb 2011 08:02:14 GMT+1 Oldloadr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=46#comment60 39. At 10:43pm on 14 Feb 2011, LucyJ wrote:Truth is, mushy middlers like myself liked McCain, but at that time in history, I disliked Bush Admin. so much that I refused to vote Republican for anything...__________________________________________________________________That’s a valid point (obviously since that was your thought processes when you voted) and I will add, what I think kept a lot in the middle from scrutinizing Obama. I also believe that your point about the GOP brand is what kept a lot of the middle from going to the polls at all as they did scrutinize Obama, but painted McCain with the same brush as Bush and decided they could not find the lesser of 2 evils. However, with all of that, McCain was ahead in the polls until the bail-out vote, and then he went into an unrecoverable flat-spin (at least this time he didn’t end up in Hanoi). Tue 15 Feb 2011 06:27:46 GMT+1 Oldloadr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=45#comment59 54. At 03:56am on 15 Feb 2011, chronophobe wrote:re: 10 oldloadr It seems to me that MM was giving The One an out by discussing internal conflict; angst, if you will. I was throwing in my heartfelt belief that he wasn’t ready for prime time when he took office.Couldn't disagree more: pragmatism and principle are often at odds. Where you see a weak or inexperienced man who can't pick one over the other, I see a good man struggling with an unavoidable dilemma. And doing it well. ______________________________________________________Whereas, I see a man that came out of the Chicago political machine. You are known by the company you keep. The problem in the US is social sciences are sorely neglected in the public schools and have been for years. Most young voters don’t even know the history of the political parties, the scandals of the past or the cesspool that Chicago is, politically (we have other cesspools, but this is Obama’s cesspool). For me to believe that a man or woman that grew up in that environment was basically a good and decent person, I would have to see that person walking hand in hand with Jesus across Lake Michigan. Tue 15 Feb 2011 06:05:20 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=44#comment58 49. At 02:04am on 15 Feb 2011, Tinkersdamn wrote:Re. #45 MagicKirin:"Obama missed an opportunity in 2009 with Iran and the protesters."--------------------------------------------------------------------"It's worth remembering that Iranian activists have often asked U.S. officials to refrain from any open support of their cause as it tends to undermine their efforts and strengthen the hand of the regime."____________Exactly so.Which is why, at the time, the guy who spoke out was John McCain. And, as I posted at the time, that was a great help to President Obama - in fact, it couldn't have been more helpful if President Obama had asked him to do it.Notice (see news today) that the dynamic has changed sufficiently that it is now acceptable for Hilary Clinton explicitly and in public to support the protesters in a way that would have undermined their cause two years ago. Tue 15 Feb 2011 05:42:00 GMT+1 Oldloadr http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=44#comment57 46. At 00:29am on 15 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:45 Magic...we`ve been replacing and installing regimes all over the world for centuries.....and let me break this to you gently....it wasn`t always so they could enjoy freedom and democracy..sometimes it was about installing thugs who did what our elite wanted done...NOT what the liberals you so despise would have liked to see happen.And a lot of the boys we sent out to die had their heads filled with BS about our intentions....and the liberals didn`t encourage them to go ....it was patriotic folk like you!Since this is a BBC blog, I think a quote from Britain’s most brilliant practitioner of politics would be appropriate at this time: Winston Churchill, "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." (from a House of Commons speech on Nov. 11, 1947) Now, for a moment of seriousness: I know, Jim, that you read the Bible. Based on that and George Orwell’s obvious disillusionment in the Communist Revolution as expressed in Animal Farm consider this: that since governments are made up of sinful humans and are in this world of sin, that the utopia you long for will only come the day after judgment day? Tue 15 Feb 2011 05:40:45 GMT+1 KScurmudgeon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=43#comment56 For the present, the USA is the lone superpower on earth. Like a great fall in a water system that draws down water levels and draws all flows to it, we influence conditions everywhere – even in utterly remote places like North Korea or Azerbaijan. With our powerful and appealing culture and our vast and greedy market, it is too, too easy for anyone on the planet to trace our influence even to their own daily life.We couldn’t avoid having this influence even if we wanted to. For example, when we made every effort to isolate China years ago, we became their great ideological enemy, (and they, ours). It is second nature, then, for the rest of the world to blame us for every undesirable condition and event and every aspiration not yet achieved. We should have intervened, we should not have intervened. They envy our standard of living, but we should keep our despicable culture to ourselves. We corrupt all nations by our presence, but please send more tourists and their dollars. The loudest cant in the Middle East is that without our support Israel would at least be compliant - or cease to exist; but also that we should use this overwhelming influence to command Israel’s hand.What we spend on our military is obscene, but when every small nation’s internal affairs get out of hand we are at fault for not sending our troops to make it straight again.For many years I have maintained that we have behaved like an awkward adolescent in all our international relations – strong and clumsy, too assured of our strength but foolish in our confidence, or confident in our foolishness: a natural bully because of our size, too often blindly selfish but also generous and well meaning. On the one side, can we be this big and not have an influence everywhere? On the other, can we be so wise as to not offend, considering our size? Do we really owe the whole world a living, as sometimes seems to be the demand?But a rival is growing in the world, and although China is by the numbers much weaker than the USA for now, it is growing stronger by the day and is supremely aggressive in it’s aspirations, both to capture everything that can be called Chinese, and to influence everything else. At the moment they are capitalists, but they are also still communists. Western style personal freedom is not part of their model. I don’t think, however, that it will come to a military battle of the titans. The people in Egypt have the power in this moment to determine the conditions under which they will live tomorrow. With them as our example I think the whole world should be thinking about the world in which its grandchildren will live, and make the best possible preparations, for them.I realize that as an American imperialist, I am in no position to give advice. Oh, well,KScurmudgeon Tue 15 Feb 2011 05:03:36 GMT+1 Mirino http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=42#comment55 44. WorcesterjimOscar Wilde seemed to have had it all figured out already in the 19th century.(..)'democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.'(...)http://mirino-viewfinder.blogspot.com/2011/01/oscar-wilde-on-socialism.html Tue 15 Feb 2011 04:48:24 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=41#comment54 Now my link is bad. Mama Africa take two Tue 15 Feb 2011 04:21:47 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=41#comment53 re: 10 oldloadr It seems to me that MM was giving The One an out by discussing internal conflict; angst, if you will. I was throwing in my heartfelt belief that he wasn’t ready for prime time when he took office.Couldn't disagree more: pragmatism and principle are often at odds. Where you see a weak or inexperienced man who can't pick one over the other, I see a good man struggling with an unavoidable dilemma. And doing it well. Life is sadlife is a bust. All you can do is do what you must.You do what you must do, and you do it well. Neko's version here Tue 15 Feb 2011 03:56:58 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=40#comment52 Actually, all the links, save the NYT and your own, have gone missing. Tue 15 Feb 2011 03:30:27 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=39#comment51 Chuckle. Sometime it takes me a while, but I do love the title of this post, BTW. Tue 15 Feb 2011 03:26:38 GMT+1 chronophobe http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=38#comment50 Mark -- your Bloomberg link is duff (just soes you knows ...).I'd say this contradiction is a good and healthy and proper thing. Ever was it thus, ever will it be so. The pathologies emerge when an Administration pretends there is no contradiction; that there is a simple convergence (that might is right ... usually). And lets add some bits Mama Africa to the restive realms list. 'Tho this one looks like a problem for the French ... so let the voice of freedom ring! Tue 15 Feb 2011 03:18:09 GMT+1 Tinkersdamn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=37#comment49 A Monday without powermeerkat??? Partisan differences aside (not always easy), I hope he's back soon. Tue 15 Feb 2011 02:08:19 GMT+1 Tinkersdamn http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=37#comment48 Re. #45 MagicKirin:"Obama missed an opportunity in 2009 with Iran and the protesters."-------------------------------------------------------------------- It's worth remembering that Iranian activists have often asked U.S. officials to refrain from any open support of their cause as it tends to undermine their efforts and strengthen the hand of the regime. Tue 15 Feb 2011 02:04:57 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=36#comment47 ref #46 worcesterjim wrote:45 Magic...we`ve been replacing and installing regimes all over the world for centuries.....and let me break this to you gently....it wasn`t always so they could enjoy freedom and democracy..sometimes it was about installing thugs who did what our elite wanted done...NOT what the liberals you so despise would have liked to see happen.And a lot of the boys we sent out to die had their heads filled with BS about our intentions....and the liberals didn`t encourage them to go ....it was patriotic folk like you!_________Your ignoring the point, replacing dictators who hater the U.S is just as good as replacing those that work with us.But usually as with Israel and columbia we support the right side while the left in Europe support the terrorists in the case of Palestine and Lebanon and the terrorist supporters in the case of Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia Tue 15 Feb 2011 01:33:32 GMT+1 Chryses http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=35#comment46 MagicKirin, (#45. At 00:05am on 15 Feb 2011)”Obama missed an opprtunity in 2009 with Iran and the protesters.”Perhaps, but it sure will be beneficial if the protests help derail the Iranian nuke program. Tue 15 Feb 2011 01:02:46 GMT+1 worcesterjim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=34#comment45 45 Magic...we`ve been replacing and installing regimes all over the world for centuries.....and let me break this to you gently....it wasn`t always so they could enjoy freedom and democracy..sometimes it was about installing thugs who did what our elite wanted done...NOT what the liberals you so despise would have liked to see happen.And a lot of the boys we sent out to die had their heads filled with BS about our intentions....and the liberals didn`t encourage them to go ....it was patriotic folk like you! Tue 15 Feb 2011 00:29:54 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=34#comment44 Obama missed an opprtunity in 2009 with Iran and the protesters.Let see if the posters on HYS and the media support the removal of the far worse autocratic regime in Iran.Even though as a consequence it will benefit the U.S and Israel.And even if they reopen the relationship with Israel, before the illegal islamic goverment willl you all support that? Tue 15 Feb 2011 00:05:11 GMT+1 worcesterjim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=33#comment43 41..Nostromo ..there`s only going to be one economy at a time in a global capitalist world that can act as the dollar has until now. I fear Europe has joined the rest of the world in becoming an asset strippers paradise for whoever lends money so that we can "enjoy" the luxury of fighting wars so that USA/Israel can walk on financial water...and China doesn`t seem interested in taking over that role.The big problem is that we have reached the limits of what extremist Wall Street capitalism can get away with doing before there is another war or genocide or serious civil unrest across the third world. Third world populations are rising far faster than traditional global capitalist techniques (like commodity speculation) will deliver adequate resources to keep a lid on the anger that is building all the time.As I have previously pointed out the old con of offering freedom and democracy as a cover for moving in and taking over the economies of countries has the serious limitation that people are cottoning on to the realities of losing one authoritarian government only to find themselves worse off living in anarchy ruled by rival criminal gangs run by rich oligarchs with links in the west...as many europeans now know!Capitalism doesn`t "do" joined up government...it`s about delivering more power to the already powerful....and China is the obvious current capitalist role model because it has the highest growth at the moment.What are the Egyptians going to do next? Become more like China? 42..Dear JMM.What a surprise that you "can`t think of a way" to tackle the problem without throwing in a lot of red herrings and false trails...... and the usual tedious stuff hinting that anyone who challenges the established order must be guilty of anti-semitism and against freedom and democracy and a marxist etc etc....YAWN!! Had I not noticed this type of water muddying by Bob "Mirror Pension Fund" Maxwell (and other Brits still living in Israel having taken us to the cleaners) I might be taken in by it!But while we revisit the same tired and irrelvant nonsense about the left and right of politics the divide between rich and poor grows greater and greater as bogus "freedom and democracy" spreads a new global feudal system in which we are all potential slaves of the "market" and whichever thug "the market" appoints to rule over us!And I wonder how long it will be before the USA and UK start having to drop the pretence of being democracies of any sort as a wave of internet politics starts exposing the truth behind the global capitalist regimes that really run our nations?What will happen when our voters finally realise that they have no influence at all over government?Look...it`s obvious we can`t go on allowing gamblers and chancers run the global economy...surely? Or do we just take up Russian/Chinese Roulette as a way of providing for future generations as the pure scale of the task of providing a civilised life for everyone gets beyond practical realistic achievement ? Tue 15 Feb 2011 00:00:51 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=32#comment42 This post has been Removed Mon 14 Feb 2011 23:10:39 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=31#comment41 35. At 10:06pm on 14 Feb 2011, worcesterjim wrote:“I think there`s a global scam going on .....and you don`t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out who is behind it ....if you just follow the money back home!”“And you get the sub-prime criminals who wrecked the global economy on trial NOW and mind your own business about the personal mores and culture of countries that don`t wreck the global economy!”[As I have said you make many good points, including these two. Unfortunately, when following the money trail, people overlook some prime culprits for a variety of reasons, some ideological. You hint at hypocrisy, just say it out loud and strong. You could also criticize the red herrings intended to confuse those looking for the prime culprits; these often include blaming the Jews, blaming the “liberals,” blaming the Mafia, blaming the Masons, blaming the Democrats or Tories, blaming the Federal Reserve, blaming the parents and, of course, blaming the teachers (or at least the teachers’ unions). Soros is an overlooked target, by I don’t think he is the biggest one, I think Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and others deserve more attention.]“And when is MM going to have a thread about the Soros/CIA empire in which we Brits are held hostage at a cost of fifty million pounds a day!?”[The list of “malefactors of great wealth” (T. Roosevelt, GOP trustbuster) is much longer than this, and goes back to well before the founding of the CIA or its predecessor OSS. While I agree in principle, I think your limitation weakens the argument.] Mon 14 Feb 2011 22:51:45 GMT+1 Mirino http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=31#comment40 To Worcesterjim 35.It seems to me that Europe adopted the single currency on the classic German Bundesbank basis, and what's good for Germany isn't necessarily good for Greece.The idea that no single country has any say in the matter regarding European economical policy appears to have been constitutionally impractical, when previously each sovereign country obviously had the right to adjust it's interest rates according to it's economical situation and national requirements.Couldn't some form of 'democracy of European economical policy' have been established, whereby financial specialists representing each member nation determine the most suitable economic policy at preset times, rather than entrusting such a weighty responsibility to one body in one location, that may not necessarily make the right decision at the right time, for the right nations, as seems so far to have been the case? Mon 14 Feb 2011 22:49:03 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=30#comment39 This post has been Removed Mon 14 Feb 2011 22:43:45 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=29#comment38 oldloadr: Well, actually, yes, since PMK and myself and a few others have actually been instruments of that foreign policy at one time or the other.---------Speaking of which, he has not been back here for a bit, I hope Pmk is doing well and having a good Valentine's day, cause' he is a good guy and deserves it!!! :)---------oldloadr: However, IMHO, after he and Obama did the same thing concerning the financial crisis, a lot of people in the mushy middle decided might as well vote for youth and vigour and get that race thing behind us, since their domestic policies are now looking like carbon copies.--------Truth is, mushy middlers like myself liked McCain, but at that time in history, I disliked Bush Admin. so much that I refused to vote Republican for anything...Basically, Bush mucked up the Repub brand and at the end of his eight years, all the Repubs I knew were Dems or Independent...now that Obama is office, ppl r going back the way they were b4 to Repub...In hindsight, I would have rather voted for McCain...but I did not trust Palin... Mon 14 Feb 2011 22:43:31 GMT+1 JClarkson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=28#comment37 "You might remember that Obama was criticsed when Iranians took to the streets in 2009 and he was seen to do little to encourage them."Yeah well there is little he can do when he has zero leverage on Iran. What was he expected to do about it, threaten to cut off US aid to Iran? There isn't any.Just like in Egypt, Obama's role in these demonstrations is as impotent as it is symbolic. Sort of like his presidency, overall. Mon 14 Feb 2011 22:39:36 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=27#comment36 Pete: Mohammed Jumaid Babar, a US citizen convicted in a New York court of 5 charges of terrorism, including the establishment of a training camp in Pakistan where the men responsible for the London bombings of July 2005 were instructed, is prematurely released from prison after serving less than 5 years of a life sentence. I hope that there will be similar outcry in the US over this, but I doubt it. It smacks of serious hypocrisy if not. I wonder how the US senate would like it if the British parliament demanded that members of the US government appeared before it to explain? -------------That is truly horrible, Pete and it makes Americans like myself highly outraged and very angry!Why is American and British media not all over this?How could someone get a life sentence and be released after less than 5 years?In this particular instance, soemthing is seriously wrong wiht our Justice system and altho America is pretty much always right, we are wrong about this one!Altho no apology is acceptable for such, I truly apologize to you, anyway, Pete and the other British people for this as it isn't right to let a terrorist out of jail on early release...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Junaid_BabarAn excerpt:He initially faced up to 70 years in prison. However, after spending four years and eight months in prison, he was released on bail in 2008. On 10 December 2010 his sentence was set to "time served". His early release raised suspicions among lawyers that Babar may have been an informant for the US government before his arrest in April 2004.[4] The reason given for his release was that he had agreed to cooperate fully with any investigation or prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office.But wait!There's more!The British are also involved...Another excerpt: He had been given immunity from prosecution in relation to the charges the British defendants faced. He also told a British court during 17 days of testimony in 2007 that he ran training camps in Pakistan for Islamic militants and nurtured a generation of homegrown British terrorists. Babar is still working with the British under a deal that he will not be charged as long as he cooperates.------So apparently the British won't charge him if he gives them info>? Mon 14 Feb 2011 22:38:08 GMT+1 worcesterjim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=27#comment35 33 Yeah let`s do that Magic..when you have devised an offence of "telling the truth" in a world run by shysters! There`s no danger of some contributors around here getting convicted of telling the truth is there!What are you going to charge him with ...genius? Mon 14 Feb 2011 22:10:44 GMT+1 worcesterjim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=26#comment34 31 Nostrano might like to suggest an ideal policy for the Eurozone now certain Wall Street institutions have educated some rather unsuitable economies in ways to present themselves as fitter than they really were on entry?You probably can`t have a currency based on several very different economies...but perhaps the idea was that once the US of Europe was a political entity (with one boss for Washington to contact)itwould be possible for it to have its own discrete currency?Perhaps the world should hold a global financial truth and reconciliation process to identify what is going on in these "markets" and how we all were got into debt....and then we can cancel this debt or start legal proceedings against those responsible?I think there`s a global scam going on .....and you don`t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out who is behind it ....if you just follow the money back home! Mon 14 Feb 2011 22:06:30 GMT+1 escapedfromny http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=25#comment33 "But universal values mean so much more if they are not just applied to hostile regimes."--------------Like the European liberals demand democratic reforms in China, Iran, PRK, Cuba, Venezuela, Congo, Nigeria, Libya, Laos, Vietnam, Syria, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, and about 80 other nations run by dictators or oligarchies . . . . Mon 14 Feb 2011 22:03:47 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=24#comment32 ref #23And you get the sub-prime criminals who wrecked the global economy on trial NOW and mind your own business about the personal mores and culture of countries that don`t wreck the global economy!___________by all means lets put Barney Frank, chris dodd and George Soros on trial.but first lets put Julian Assange on trial! Mon 14 Feb 2011 22:00:13 GMT+1 Mirino http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=24#comment31 Corrigendum- 'rates' instead of 'rests', even though the lasting obsession of Monsieur Trichet was that the euro interest rate- rests untouched. Mon 14 Feb 2011 21:32:03 GMT+1 Mirino http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=23#comment30 To Worcesterjim 29.Not at all, re. austerity measures. But maybe Obama himself wouldn't be totally disinclined to dismiss certain conspiracy theories either. To create even more division one imagines Iranians dive-bombing the new Mosque complex near Ground Zero on magic carpets, to then accuse the USA of trying to set the score straight after the evil 11/9 complot. True however that we have all suffered as a result of the Wall Street wallop. It has had one 'good' effect however, in showing up all the banking flaws everywhere else. It has also put Trichet, of the ECB, in his place. It took him some time to get around to grasping the fact that his Bundesbank strong euro policy wasn't the most ideal under the dire circumstances. The consequences in Greece, Portugal and Ireland are costly. He was always loathed to lower the interest rests at the right time, and one suspected that to go down in his history he had secret ambitions of substituting the dollar with the euro on the world market.One nevertheless still gets the impression that old habits die hard, and certain sneaky banks are softly sliding back as though there's no reason why they shouldn't. Mon 14 Feb 2011 21:11:16 GMT+1 BluesBerry http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2011/02/when_revolution_breeds_interna.html?page=22#comment29 Bring on the revolution! (But only in those countries where we Americans want revolution!) There's no doubt the Obama administration would like the Egyptian revolution to light a fire. So you say, but I wonder...I think in order to stabilize the old regime, the Americans pulled a masterful, brilliant SOFT COUP which placed the Egypt's powerful, huge military complex in charge. The Egyptian military will never let go. It will remain one gigantic, unbeatable industrial octopus which will run the old regime. And if the people again take to the streets, there will be blood, lots and lots of blood.Further, I believe that this will become the NEW STRATEGY WHERE THE UNITED STATES WANTS TO PRETEND that it is on the side of democracy, but really wants the dictatorial status quo.1. Get the military to pretend that it sides with the people.2. Get the military re-establish normality.3. Thence forward the military is in charge as is the old regime.4. What will the perople do? There's the question!In Iran this strategy could not, would not work, because - whether the US likes it or not, Ahmadinejad is fairly popular. Go into Iran and ask the question: What do you think of Ahmadinejad, and you will get as many positives as negatives. Don't you think the United States is aware of this?The US State Department has set up a Twitter account in Farsi. In his last briefing, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs singled out Iran three times...I guess the United States was trying to light a twitter fire and burn up the passions of Iran. But Iran and Egypt are not, NOT the same country. Ahmadinejad is not a dictator, and no one can say for sure that the last elections were not fair.You might remember that Obama was critized when Iranians took to the streets in 2009 and he was seen to do little to encourage them. Really? I thought the Twitter Revolution was an American revolution in the first place, instigated and supported by Americans, especially young Americans. I even belief most of the video was shot in America.A series of articles over the weekend suggests that there was something of a struggle between the White House and state department over how to approach Egypt. President Barack Obama wanting to APPEAR AS THOUGH HE WAS ENCOURAGING the protesters, while the Department of State was more worried about retaining and nurturing the old regime.Obama had no internal conflict. Obama and the United States need that good-old Egyptian Regime; they do not need Mubarak or his revolutionary son, Gamal. They do not need Omar Sulieman. They need a very strong military to maintain the old regime and the old status quo.Who's to say what is and what is not a really HOSTILE REGIME, THE SPIN MACHINE, the talking heads, the diplomatic core...Maybe, but I'd go with Wikileaks. Mon 14 Feb 2011 20:50:36 GMT+1